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Zhong Xingguo: Xiamen Arbitration Commission Gives Full Play to Its Regional Advantages to Begin a New Chapter of High-Quality Development

From:          Updated: 2022-09-21   

Editor's Note: The Third Seminar of the International Commercial Expert Committee of the Supreme People's Court and Reappointment Ceremony of the First Group of Expert Members was held successfully on Augest 25, 2022. Over 40 experts from more than 20 countries and regions focused on the theme of the Development, Challenges and Countermeasures of Cross-Border Commercial Disputes during the seminar. Extensive and in-depth discussions were held within the framework of four specific issues. The texts of speeches delivered by the participants would be posted on the CICC's website. 


Zhong Xingguo

Director of the Xiamen Arbitration Commission

Xiamen Arbitration Commission (hereinafter referred to as "XMAC"), is an arbitration institution in China established on January 8, 1996 soon after the promulgation of the Arbitration Law of the People's Republic of China. XMAC, under the leadership of Xiamen municipal Party committee and Xiamen government, guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and aiming at the enhancing of the credibility of arbitration, conscientiously carries out the spirit of the documents by the higher authorities, and adheres to the correct political direction and the scientific professional service orientation, with the development strategy of "Focusing on Xiamen, Exploring the Periphery, Facing the Country, Joining the World", and the development path of "Professionalization, Internationalization, Localization and Brand-Oriented". XMAC has, during the practice of arbitration, strengthened the Party's composite leadership over arbitration, carried out the system and mechanism reform of the executive agency at a rather early stage, attached importance to improving the internal governance structure and operation mechanism, adhered to the arbitration aims of "Impartiality, Justice, Professionalism and Efficiency", summarized arbitration experience and grasped arbitration patterns, kept exploring new fields and developing new regions and served the overall economic-social development. Over the years, XMAC has been ranking top nationwide in terms of amount in dispute under arbitration and brand influence.

However, there is still room for improvement in terms of international commercial arbitration compared with internationally leading arbitration institutions. XMAC will, by taking the participation in the "One-Stop" Diversified International Commercial Dispute Resolution Platform as an important development opportunity, strive to give full play to its regional advantages, accurately grasp the development trend, and endeavor to create a favorable situation; specifically, XMAC will, under the guidance and support of the Supreme People's s Court, actively cooperate with the China International Commercial Court, and contribute its efforts from the following aspects:

First, XMAC will strive to give full play to its regional advantages and rapidly enhance its brand competitiveness in international commercial dispute arbitration.

Fujian is an important breeding ground and practice base of Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law; Fujian Province has delved deep into the significance of Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law, and has been strengthening in-depth learning and effective implementation in terms of thinking, political orientation and actions. Last November, the CPC Fujian Provincial Committee and Fujian Provincial People's Government launched the Maritime Silk Road Central Legal District, with strong support from the Supreme People's Court for the relevant work.

Historically, cities such as Xiamen and Quanzhou used to enjoy a great prosperity due to their status being important port cities along the "Maritime Silk Road", and having many economic and trade exchanges with people from countries participating in the "Maritime Silk Road" initiative. In recent years, with the further progress of the "Belt and Road" Initiative, a series of national strategic bases such as the Pilot Free Trade Zone, the Maritime Silk Road Central Legal District and the BRICS PartNIR Innovation Center have taken root and developed steadily in Xiamen. Besides, given that Xiamen has many economic exchanges with Taiwan region, and many overseas Chinese businessmen, there are more market demands and higher quality requirements for legal services and legal protection due to the frequent business activities of multinational enterprises at home and abroad. International commercial arbitration, as a popular and universally applicable method for cross-border dispute resolution, can cater to the new requirements of the dispute resolution mechanism under the "Belt and Road" Initiative.

General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed that "the practice of the rule of law is not only a highly political but also professional cause". To our understanding, arbitration is not only a professional cause with highly political attribution but also a political cause with highly professional requirement. XMAC will bear a more inclusive standpoint and harbor a more insightful perspective for the fact that the development of arbitration is an important indicator of a country's national/social governance and level of opening up, firmly establish the philosophy of "rule of law is the best business environment", as well as give take the initiative to serve the core work of the Party and the State.

Second, XMAC will accurately grasp the development trend of international economy and politics, be well prepared and take the initiative to cope with the new arbitration trend.

At present, the United States tends to manipulate its sanctions frequently, which destroys the international economic rules and disrupts the international trade order, inevitably giving rise to many more international commercial disputes. In addition, under the ravage of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the world, there will be more online cases in the days to come; in the foreseeable post-pandemic era, the COVID-19 impact on all walks of life will become more prominent and there will be more arbitration issues in areas like online legal research and law ascertainment. XMAC will accelerate its internationalization process, coordinate the foreign-related arbitration development and team building, coordinate the construction of arbitration professionalization and diversification, coordinate the regional expansion and the arbitration system publicity, coordinate the online arbitration development and the information security, ameliorate the intelligent arbitration service function, and the like.

Third, XMAC will keep integrity and be innovative based on national conditions, and strive to create a favorable situation.

Arbitration has been greatly valued by General Secretary Xi Jinping, who further proposes that "give priority to the alternative dispute resolution mechanism" and "be effective in the foreign-related legal protection and services". With the rapidly changing international and national situation, and the accelerated development of changes unseen in a century, China's economic structure has gradually changed from the previous export-oriented growth to the domestic and international "dual circulation" and then to the current speeding construction of a unified national market. China, as the world's second largest economy and a developing country with the fastest growth rate, will be given a greater say in the formulation of arbitration rules with the formation of a new domestic and international "dual circulation" development pattern.

The "one-stop" diversified international commercial dispute resolution mechanism is a major innovation of the socialist rule of law system with Chinese characteristics, and an innovative practice that organically integrates the well-accepted mediation with informatization, digitalization and intelligentization. It is of great and far-reaching significance for the impartial, just, professional, efficient, transparent, convenient and low-cost trial of major international commercial cases, accelerating the formation of a market-oriented, law-based, convenient and international business environment, as well as serving and safeguarding the construction of the "Belt and Road" Initiative.

XMAC will, focusing on the strategic planning of national development and the hotspots for arbitration, by reference to international experience and considering the local situation, accurately grasp the patterns and characteristics of arbitration, keep improving its adaptability and innovation ability, and accelerate the formation of a new innovative development pattern; XMAC will, by learning from its excellent peers, keep improving the internationalization of its arbitration team, rules, business model, and the arbitral award enforcement regime, so that to contribute more to the "Belt and Road" Initiative and the social-economic development.

Thank you!

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*The original text is Chinese and has been translated into English for reference only. If there is any inconsistency or ambiguity between the Chinese version and the English version, the Chinese version shall prevail.